'Colfax Works' program to employ homeless will continue through end of the year

Funding was set to run out on Aug. 31

DENVER -- A program that puts homeless people to work and provides supportive services will continue though the end of the year.

'Colfax Works' started as a pilot program with funding available to pay for three months. As the pilot drew closer to ending, the Colfax Ave. Business Improvement District (BID) scrambled to find enough money to keep it going through the end of the year.

"We've gotten word that the city is going to help us with continued funding through the rest of 2018 because they see the value," said Frank Locantore, executive director of the Colfax Ave. BID.

The Colfax Ave. BID put up $20,000 for the initial pilot and another $20,000 so it could continue. The city along with partner Bayaud Enterprises, have provided additional matching funds. 

The idea came from a similar concept that's been successful in Washington, D.C. Other business improvement districts around Denver have expressed interest in creating a similar program.

Area businesses along Colfax have bought in, even providing the crews lunch.

"There's no negative outcome here. This is really an amazingly positive outcome for the entire community," said Mark Whistler, who owns The Goods Restaurant in the City Park neighborhood.

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